Thursday, October 23, 2008

African American Lives

PBS: African American Lives

"Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois professor of the Humanities and chair of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES, an unprecedented four-part PBS series, takes Alex Haley's Roots saga to a whole new level through moving stories of personal discovery. Using genealogy, oral history, family stories and DNA analysis to trace lineage through American history and back to Africa, the series provides a life-changing journey for a diverse group of highly accomplished African Americans: Dr. Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Mae Jemison, Quincy Jones, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Chris Tucker and Oprah Winfrey.

The series works to restore the participants' lineages in reverse chronological order. Starting with the oral histories of the individuals' families, and drawing on photographs, film clips, music and early personal records, Professor Gates begins to trace their family trees back through the 20th century. Noted historians and expert genealogists around America help fill in missing branches, in the process explaining how such major events as Jim Crow segregation and the post-World War I "Great Migration" from the South to the North helped shape African-American families."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Frontline: Heat

Frontline: Heat, Original Broadcast Oct 21, 2008

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

"Melting glaciers, rising sea levels, fires, floods and droughts. On the eve of a historic election, award-winning producer and correspondent Martin Smith investigates how the world's largest corporations and governments are responding to Earth's looming environmental disaster.

The world needs to dramatically cut the carbon emissions responsible for wreaking havoc on the planet's climate, according to Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, whose organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), shared last year's Nobel Peace Prize. "If we don't take action immediately, we face a crisis," Pachauri tells Smith. "Climate change is caused by human actions, and we need to do something about it. The sooner we realize that, the better."

With that sense of urgency in mind, Smith traveled to 12 countries on four continents to investigate whether major corporations and governments are up to the challenge. HEAT features in-depth interviews with top policy-makers and with leading executives from many of the largest carbon emitters from around the world, including Chinese coal companies, Indian SUV makers and American oil giants. The report paints an ominous portrait. Despite increasing talk about "going green," across the planet, environmental concerns are still taking a back seat to shorter-term economic interests."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tesla Motors and Roadster

Tesla Motors, Inc. is private a Silicon Valley automobile startup company focusing on the production of high performance, consumer-oriented battery electric vehicles.

The Tesla Roadster is a fully electric sports car. It is the first car produced by electric car firm Tesla Motors.

The car can travel 244 mi (393 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack and accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds.

The Roadster's efficiency, as of February 2008, is reported as 199 W·h/km (3.12 mi/kW·h), equivalent to 105 mpg–U.S. (2.24 L/100 km / 126.1 mpg–imp)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Frontline: The Choice 2008, Original Broadcast Oct 14, 2008

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

"It has been called one of the most historic presidential elections in our nation's history -- Barack Obama versus John McCain. It is a race that pits the iconoclast against the newcomer, the heroic prisoner of war against the first African American nominated by a major party. FRONTLINE's critically acclaimed series The Choice returns this election season to examine the rich personal and political biographies of these two men in The Choice 2008.

The Choice 2008 draws on in-depth interviews with the advisers, friends and those closest to these unlikely candidates, as well as with seasoned observers of American politics, who together tell the definitive story of these men and their ascent to their party's nominations.

When FRONTLINE first aired a profile of presidential candidates during the 1988 election, The Choice redefined political journalism on television. Now, in an unprecedented election year, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk (Bush's War, Cheney's Law) goes behind the headlines to tell a deeper political story about the candidates, the decisions they made, and why their nominations may indicate a historic change in American politics."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This American Life: Another Frightening Show About the Economy

This American Life
Chicago Public Radio
October 3, 2008

Episode 365: Another Frightening Show About the Economy

Alex Blumberg and NPR's Adam Davidson — the two guys who reported our Giant Pool of Money episode — are back, in collaboration with the Planet Money podcast. They'll explain what happened this week, including what regulators could've done to prevent this financial crisis from happening in the first place.